Palestinians to push ahead with UN resolution

Arab UN delegations endorse changes to a UN draft resolution setting timeframe for the creation of a Palestinian state.

    The Palestinian leadership has presented changes to a UN draft resolution that could set a timeframe for the creation of a Palestinian state.

    Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas told US Secretary of State John Kerry he would press ahead with a resolution calling for a peace deal with Israel within a year with an "end to occupation" of Palestinian territories by late 2017, state news agency WAFA reported.

    The revised resolution calls for occupied East Jerusalem to be the capital of Palestine, an end to Israeli settlement building and settling the issue of Palestinian prisoner releases.

    Arab UN delegations meeting in New York on Monday endorsed the proposal. 

    Dina Kawar, Jordan's UN Ambassador and the sole Arab representative on the UN Security Council, said the revised text would be submitted to the council later on Monday.

    "Both our leaderships [Palestinian and Jordanian] will be discussing, to find the best way and the best timing to vote on the Security Council resolution," Kawar told the Reuters news agency.

    Palestinian officials said the proposal calls for negotiations to be based on territorial lines that existed before Israel captured the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip in 1967.

    US opposition

    US State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke told reporters the new draft resolution "is not something that we would support, and other countries share the same concerns that we have".

    "We don't think this resolution is constructive," Rathke said. "We don't believe this resolution ... advances the goal of a two-state solution."

    Diplomats said it was unlikely that the resolution would garner nine votes under the current makeup of the council - a scenario that would allow the US to avoid resorting to its veto power.

    Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement that if the Security Council failed to reject the resolution, "we will."

    Israel has said a Security Council vote, following the collapse in April of US-brokered talks on Palestinian statehood, would deepen the conflict. It supports negotiations but rejects third-party timelines.

    Several European parliaments have adopted non-binding motions calling for recognition of Palestine.

    The Palestinians have warned that if the bid to win support for a UN resolution fails, they are prepared to join the International Criminal Court to file suits against Israel.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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